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Why?
The OMB consists of an unqualified board of unelected people who have the power to override the decisions of the elected officials running this city, and the people who acually live in the city.

How would the province enforce the Places to Grow Act and other planning laws if there was no OMB?

I live in a fast growing state where real estate development is at the mercy of the local elected officials. The end result is a lack of supply in existing neighborhoods due to NIMBYism and a general push back against densification. As a result, most new development affordable to the middle class is built on former prairies. The thing that agitates me most is that there is a bias, a belief, even amount local planners that should know better, that all people really want single-family homes. Higher density developments are seen as a product of greedy developers taking advantage of those that can't afford single-family homes.

Toronto is doing a lot of things well with respect to urban development and planning (well, with the exception of electing Rob Ford and his mess of transportation ideas). To those screaming for the province to abolish the OMB, be careful what you wish for since the alternative may not be ideal as you may believe.
 
Your a fool if you think planners and councilors should be alone in running a city, a damn fool!

You sound like you know nothing of the OMB - do some research.

Toronto has alot of great architecture - shame on you and shame on your for your undemocratic online barfing.

what an angry little boy. You don't like your uninformed opinion to be disagreed with....you'll do well here ;)
 
How would the province enforce the Places to Grow Act and other planning laws if there was no OMB?

I don't think you understand what the OMB is.
How can planning laws be enforced by elected officials when they're over ruled by the OMB?
 
I don't think you understand what the OMB is.
How can planning laws be enforced by elected officials when they're over ruled by the OMB?

By "planning laws" are you referencing the 1986 zoning bylaw which covers most of the city? It's a ridiculously outdated standard that is used to evaluate new development by the city. It represents a different era and is neither desirable nor consistent with the city's official plan or places to grow act. It's also used by NIMBYs and political opportunists to push back against responsible development. The specific example which comes to mind is Minto Midtown. The NIMBYs would have been happy for the site to remain a parking lot. It's no wonder that so many developments are approved by the OMB.

Before you contine bashing the OMB, I invite you to read some of their decisions. There is strong rational, based on evidence, presented in each case explaining why a certain action is being ordered. Is it a perfect process, no. However, I don't believe the baby should be thrown out with the bath water. One suggestion I would have is to limit the OMB's powers strictly to zoning while allowing the city to retain control over land use.
 
The "democratic process" isnt always democratic dont kid yourself - if you believe that then you shouldnt be on here. Councilors, planners, and developers need a check - that check is the OMB. Remember even nimbys like yourself can take developments to the OMB - and just because you do does that mean your right? Hell no. Often the planners, councillors, developers, nor nimbys do the right thing but not always, there needs to be a way to appeal decisions. There are many MANY bad mistakes made by planners, councillors, and developers across the city - and the OMB is a way to address them. Your a fool if you think planners and councilors should be alone in running a city, a damn fool!

You sound like you know nothing of the OMB - do some research.

Toronto has alot of great architecture - shame on you and shame on your for your undemocratic online barfing.

[video=youtube;yunSRfnsVck]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yunSRfnsVck[/video]

Before you contine bashing the OMB, I invite you to read some of their decisions. There is strong rational, based on evidence, presented in each case explaining why a certain action is being ordered. Is it a perfect process, no. However, I don't believe the baby should be thrown out with the bath water. One suggestion I would have is to limit the OMB's powers strictly to zoning while allowing the city to retain control over land use.

And I invite you to tell us, tell us what is your rationale to defend OMB. A gang of unelected (and unelectable) insiders who sought to make their name known by dictating how and what the development should be done, despite their irrelevance in city planning and development? The same folks who are out of touch in approving North York condominium projects, against the City's wishes on behalf of the residents there? OMB is just playing games onto either side. I'm really surprised that an unnecessary provincial agency can override what the local government is doing (especially on zoning issues, which is purely a municipal matter). OMB represents an example of what is wrong with province of Ontario as a whole.
 
See this article - http://m.nsnews.com/svc/wlws.svc/get...ArticleId=true
Van doesnt have an OMB. Look at what the councillors did to the public process - they commandeered the process, and effectively shut it down even though it was contemplated in the OP.
What is a councillor anyways? Its a "popularly" elected individual who cowtails to their constituents - and their goal is to get re-elected. How does that speak to democracy?
Read that article - feel the frustration of the developer and constituents. Im trying to be open here as every Tony Spilotro should be - but closing down the OMB is just stupid. You may feel
big brother has the best in mind but i disagree.
 
[video=youtube;yunSRfnsVck]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yunSRfnsVck[/video]



And I invite you to tell us, tell us what is your rationale to defend OMB. A gang of unelected (and unelectable) insiders who sought to make their name known by dictating how and what the development should be done, despite their irrelevance in city planning and development? The same folks who are out of touch in approving North York condominium projects, against the City's wishes on behalf of the residents there? OMB is just playing games onto either side. I'm really surprised that an unnecessary provincial agency can override what the local government is doing (especially on zoning issues, which is purely a municipal matter). OMB represents an example of what is wrong with province of Ontario as a whole.

If they were electable they wouldnt be impartial so obviously electing the OMB would be like electing a councillor. The members of the OMB are highly qualified impartial development professionals such as planners, architects, lawyers - their decisions are based on the issue, and evidence and thats all. Councillors are susceptable to nimbyism and planners are susceptable to council influence - thats where the OMB comes out. Any submission to the OMB is based on planning policy and guidelines. Developers are following policy. I suggest you move out of Ontario at once to somewhere more agreeable - perhaps a farmland in Michigan? I cant implore enough how nimbyism hurts us. As i mentioned the OMB keeps planners, concillors, developers, and nimbys honest - especially now that losers in the case can be held liable for costs. All Hail OMB!
 
And I invite you to tell us, tell us what is your rationale to defend OMB. A gang of unelected (and unelectable) insiders who sought to make their name known by dictating how and what the development should be done, despite their irrelevance in city planning and development? The same folks who are out of touch in approving North York condominium projects, against the City's wishes on behalf of the residents there? OMB is just playing games onto either side. I'm really surprised that an unnecessary provincial agency can override what the local government is doing (especially on zoning issues, which is purely a municipal matter). OMB represents an example of what is wrong with province of Ontario as a whole.

Bean, make no mistake that my opinions are my own. I am an urban enthusiast with a keen interest in Toronto's planning process. Toronto is a great city, and I try to visit every couple years or so. Other than that, I have no other interests in supporting the OMB except to say that I believe its a needed to hear planning appeals and to resolve planning disputes. My opinions are shaped by my experiences, and unfortunately I've seen too much bullshit to have faith that politicians will always make the right choice, especially on planning matters.

I've already explained in my prior post why this is the case and specifically cited the Minto Midtown example. By all accounts that's a good development, in the heart of the city and at the crossroads of two subway lines. If there was no OMB, I highly doubt those towers would exist today in their current form. There were a vocal group of NIMBYs that didn't want "those people" moving to "their" neighborhood.

You say that the province should have no oversight over its municipalities. If that was true, then the Places to Grow Act would be an unenforceable law.

Since I do not live in Toronto and Ontario, my opinions on this subject doesn't really matter. But since you asked...
 
The city can have its own planning appeals body. It doesn't require the OMB. The OMB is unique to Ontario. Given the range of what the OMB is responsible for, planning constitutes only a portion of what the OMB covers off on in terms of responsibilities. With a little effort, a similar - and even better - appeals board can be established that best reflects the needs and realities of Toronto. The reality is that the province would not relinquish OMB oversight of city planning unless such a body was first defined, approved and in place - and met the requirements of the provincial government expected of such a body.

I know some people despise any person, group or neighbourhood when individuals express opposition to someone's fave building proposal, but to label all those people who live in that area, who have bought homes and made a life there, as merely being "nimbys" is shallow. Building proposals typically show up in specific neighbourhoods, and it isn't all to unusual to expect persons living there to take interest - or hold concerns - for what a specific proposal intends. A better development process would likely help in reducing resident concerns - many of which have been heightened by the fact that OMB decisions are based on a very limited set of criteria, and not on the specific merits of any part of the city or people inhabiting it.

Just so you know, a private members bill was introduced at Queen's Park with the aim of releasing Toronto from under the OMB. That legislation died when McGuinty prorogued the legislature.
 
Keep the ad hominem attacks out of your debate please. Anyone continuing with that risks temporary bans.

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I would like to share my own story dealing with City's COA and OMB, which might help to clarify why we still need OMB. My wife and I owned a large bungalow (60ft x 130ft) in NYCC (south-west of Yonge and Finch). We used it as a rental property for some time, but, considering its close proximity to Yonge Str, we decided to apply for severance having in mind to create two parcels of decent size lots so we can build two houses (instead of building a 6K monster-house, which would be allowed on this lot). After submitting all documents to COA, we received a letter from the city' planning committee, which stated that, considering all the recent changes in the area and in accordance with NYCC secondary plan, our application is reasonable. They asked us to modify some setbacks to comply with a number of city by-laws, which we did. A few months later, a day before the hearing, I got a phone call from my councillor (John Filion) who sounded not very happy… he asked me to modify the proposed setback between two new buildings (which we already did in our amended application) and I replied to him that we already complied with the setback. He said he would check the drawings and voiced his displeasure with the application, but he did not explain what he didn’t like. The next day was the COA hearing; unfortunately, I had been on a business trip and I was represented by a consultant, a former city planner. He reassured me that the application is very solid and there is no reason to refuse it. Well, the application was refused! There were 15-20 "ratepayers" (aka NIMBYs), who were not even from my neighbourhood! John Filion (as my rep described) was playing along with their loud complains such as "the area is changing too fast", there will be too much demand on local resources" (one extra house?), etc. etc.
Well, my next step was to appeal. Where do you appeal? OMB is the only place to go... Move forward 6 months and 20K less in my pocket (hiring a planner and a lawyer) I am attending OMB hearing. Unlike theater-like settings of COA, OMB is more formal; NIMBYs can still come and express their view, but before they speak, they need to swear or affirm. There were still 4-5 "ratepayers", with the same arguments re "fast changes". One lady was concerned with fire hazards... (?) Another lady, who lives just across the street, said that the 30ft frontage "is too narrow". When asked about her house frontage, she she replied "33". City did send a legal rep too, but the guy was only concerned with us following the city initial requests for setback, height, etc., no arguments against application whatsoever... So, to sum it up--city delayed my application by more than a year; I spent close to 25K in the process, city lost (legal rep) some good chunk of taxpayers money (including my own taxes), so that John Filion can act as a hero defending his community? My case is not some sort of weird exception, it happens quite often... A couple of years ago I emailed to John that he needs to change his NIMBY-catering attitudes because he is not helping his community; he is draining community resources without bringing any positive change. I suggested that he should treat these “minor” apps (only if they make sense; I am not advocating tearing down historical properties or building some sort of monster houses) the same way as city does with big apps--why not to negotiate and come to some sort of mutually beneficial solutions.
 
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Never is a very long time.

The OMB may persist, but its specific overlording of Toronto's development process can come to an end once the city organizes its own alternative appeals body and once the provincial legislature approves it. That effort is under way.
 
...once the city organizes its own alternative appeals body and once the provincial legislature approves it. That effort is under way.

Has the text of the draft bill to amend the Ontario Municipal Board Act been posted anywhere online? Has any provincial legislators indicated that they will soon introduce or sponsor such a bill? Thanks. This would be one the development community should watch closely to make sure it's a fair process. Vz64, thanks for your first hand account.
 
Toronto has the ability to establish a Local Appeal Body to replace the OMB for CofA decisions, as gristle mentioned. There is a subcommittee of Council looking at this. http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/decisio...ion=doPrepare&meetingId=6985#Meeting-2012.PZ2

here's some quick background... http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2012/pz/bgrd/backgroundfile-51829.pdf some interesting stats:
-87% of CofA decisions approved, 10% refused
-60% of refused applications are appealed to the OMB
-74% of the time the OMB overturns the CofA's decision
 

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